The term grub is generally used to describe the larvae of beetles. Grubs may be found in soil and potting mix like curl grubs, or boring into stems or branches like jewel beetle grubs. Beetle grubs can generally be distinguished from caterpillars and other larvae by their plump, ‘C’ shape and the presence of six legs on the body close to the head.

Some gardeners may also use the word ‘grubs’ as a generic term to describe other soft-bodied pests for example fruit fly maggots, sawfly larvae or pear and cherry slugs.

Control options include trapping, squashing or using sprays with pyrethrum such as EarthCare Natural Pyrethrum insect spray, if the insect is accessible. Remember to follow the directions on the back of the container and spray both sides of the foliage. Repeat spraying maybe required for further control. Also do not spray when beneficial insects and bees are around.

Borers can be physically squashed inside their holes or removed by pruning off damage growth. Keeping an eye on your plants can also help as you are more likely to see grub damage before the actual pest itself.  Some borers will also select damaged plants. Improve the health of your plants and the soil by applying Seasol Biochar with Zeolite to the soil and PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives to your plants to strengthen both the structure of the soil and the strength of your plants.

Pear and cherry slug can be desiccated by dusting with lime. Grubs in soft fruit are probably fruit fly larvae.

Articles you may be interested in